An interview with Slay

July 20, 2014

Writing long before the LA River became a huge buff Slay has been holding it down in Los Angeles. We got a chance to talk to him recently and chat about the crews he reps and how things have changed since the LA River days.


WY: What do you write?

Slay: I write sLAy, sLAyber, sLAyer, sLAykers, sLAypreme, sLAyten, etc…

WY: What crews do you rep and give us a little history of each crew.

ParaDiseBoys, Established in 1993 by Arco, Spurn, and Tern. Family of well rounded talented artists. Always pushing style to the next level.

NightEagles, Established in 2008 by Adze, Zion 5, and myself. Focus on North East Los Angeles, but now spreading to other areas. Quantity & Quality bombers.

GotMaddSkillz, Always loyal to my first family. Classic N.E.L.A crew. Small families stay strong and tight knit.

AtLarge, Established in early 80’s in East Los Angeles. Worldwide crew of the best taggers, bomber, piecers, etc…

HandsOfDoom, I <3 Detr

WY: You've been painting LA a long time and have seen a lot of changes from the river being totally crushed to being a huge buff, the anti mural laws being passed, and now it seems like the scene is picking up again. Thoughts on the current LA graffiti scene?

Slay: LA was a lot more fun in the late 90s early 2000s. We had the largest yard in the world with so much history. I feel bad for future generations that will never get to enjoy it.

WY: Favorite place outside of LA you've sprayed your name in?

Slay: Portland is my favorite spraycation destination by far. Didn’t get to do much while I was there, but definitely gonna try to get back up there very soon. Philadelphia is probably #2 on my list.

WY: Top 3 partners to go bombing with?

Slay: Adze, Ruets, and Seal

WY: Favorite tool of the trade?

Slay: Always been a fan of streaks and stock tip spray

WY: Give us a good story from a mission one night.

Slay: Most of my past is a blur, but one story stands out the most. When I was about 18 or 19, I went to get a rooftop with my friends in the South Bay. We parked across the street from the spot in a cutty dirt lot with a few mobile homes, behind a construction site, and we painted a big rooftop across the street. When we got back to my friend’s car, all of the windows were smashed in. Out of nowhere, a bunch of bangers rushed out of the mobile home in front of where we parked. My friends and I scattered, and at the same time, some sheriffs pulled into the dirt lot. I threw my backpack in a bush, and one friend and I ran around the house and slid under the small opening under the mobile home. Under the house, we couldn’t see anything but we could hear the gangsters walking above us talking about guns n’shit, not knowing what happened to our other friends. About 10 minutes later, but we heard the cops calling for my friend and I on their speaker by our names. We sat there for 10 minutes deciding what to do as the cops kept calling for us to come out. We finally decided to come out, and found the sheriffs in between our other friends and the bangers, doing their best to stop a rumble. We all jumped in the car and took off, driving home from the South Bay to the North East in a car with busted windows.

The next day I thought it’d be a good idea to go get my back pack. I should have just considered it a loss, but my pager was in it and it was packed with paint. I got a ride to the lot and my friend dropped me off behind the lot where there happened to be a construction site. I ran across the site, jumped the wall to the mobile home lot, and grabbed my backpack out of the bush. As I was walking out of the lot, the same gangsters pulled up. They spotted me and I took off running. They chased me in their car, so I ran into a CVS down the block. They followed me in and confronted me. I told them I wasn’t trying to do anything disrespectful, just wanted to get my stuff back. One of the guys seemed cool with it, but the one with little man syndrome wasn’t having it. He grabbed my backpack and they left. I was bummed I didn’t get my paint back, but I was thankful I didn’t get jumped or shot, and at least I got my pager back.

WY: Do you ever see yourself not writing graffiti anymore?

Slay: Never Ever

WY: Any final words or shout outs you wanna give?

Slay: Swiggy swooty, I’m coming for da booty.


See more of Slay's work on Instagram 

Interview and photos by Walter Yetman aka The Harsh Truth of the Camera EyeFollow him on Instagram.